Things to Do Around Israel, May 13-19, 2016

Your guide to exhibits, tours and other attractions around Israel.

From the Sufi Festival in the Arava Desert in the south.
Zohar Ron

TEL AVIV AND CENTER

Man and the Living World Museum

Exhibits for the entire family: “The Wild Animals of Nahum Gutman and Friends.” The works are inspired by Gutman’s illustrations and depict a playful alternative to hunting; “Animal Impressions,” by Yechiel Shaked, depicting paintings of rare animals from the Galapagos Islands, is on display. Sat 10.00-17.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-14.00. National Park, Ramat Gan (03) 631-5010

Shanghai Circus 

The acrobatic extravaganza, combining traditional Chinese arts and modern technology, features over 30 artists. Fri 15.00, 17.30, Sat 10.00, 12.30, 16.00, 18.30, Thur 11.00, 15.00, 17.30. Tel Aviv Sportech in Park Hayarkon. Tickets: *2207, www.shanghai.co.il

Ramat Gan Safari 

The 250-acre park is home to 200 species of wild mammals, birds and reptiles, and offers tours, activities and workshops, led by staff members. Fri and holiday eves 09.00-16.00; Sat and holidays, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.30 (last entry 2 hours before closing). 1 Sderot Hatzvi, Ramat Gan (03) 630-5305; www.safari.co.il

Ice Peaks 

Ice skating rink, climbing wall and zip-line. Fri 11.30-23.00; Sat 10.00-23.00, Mon-Thur 17.30-20.00. Mifratz Shlomo St., Holon

Eretz Israel Museum (MUSA) 

The Planetarium at the museum offers films based on the solar system, on a revolving stage. “Secrets of the Sun,” ages 11+. Sat at 15.00, Sun-Thur at 10.30; “The Wonder Telescope,” ages 7+. Sat at 14.00, Sun-Wed at 13.30; Thur 13.30, 19.00; “Stars,” ages 5+. Sat at 12.00, Sun-Wed at 11.30, Thur 11.30, 17.00; “Astronaut,” ages 5+. Sat at 11.00, Sun-Thur at 15.00; “Life of Trees,” ages 5+. Sat at 13.00, Thur 16.00, 18.00. Pre-booking required for English performances: (03) 745-5710/720. Museum hours: Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Wed 10.00-16.00; Thur 10.00-20.00

Yitzhak Rabin Center

Celebrating the life and legacy of the assassinated prime minister, the center and its museum combine Rabin’s personal story with the development of the burgeoning Jewish State of Israel. Activities include guided historical tours, and educational workshops on such ideas as democracy and remembrance. Fri 09.00-12.30; Sun, Mon, Wed 09.00-15.30; Tues, Thur 09.00-17.30. 8 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Aviv *4585

JERUSALEM AND AREA

Menachem Begin Heritage Center 

Museum focusing on the life of the sixth prime minister. from his childhood in Poland to his leadership of the Irgun and his premiership. Simultaneous translation available. in English, French, Russian, Arabic and Spanish. Reservations required. Sun-Thur, 9.00-16.30; Tues until 19.00; Fri and holiday eves, 9.00-12.30. 6 Nahon St. (02) 565-2020 

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (Biblical Zoo) 

Natural exhibits of over 500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates from around the world. Includes a children’s zoo with a petting corner, animal feeding demonstrations, educational activities and the Noah’s Ark sculpture garden. Fri 09.00-16.30; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-18.00. Biblical Zoo, 1, Aharon Shulov St. (02) 675-0111

Herzl Museum

The museum provides details on the life and influence of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. At the entrance to Mt. Herzl. By appointment: (02) 632-1515 

Tower of David Museum

Home to the Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the Tower of David features a permanent exhibit about the city’s history and its significance to three religions. The tower itself is an archaeological site and offers a 360-degree view of the Old City of Jerusalem. It also stages temporary exhibits that connect ancient history with contemporary themes, and hosts lectures, guided tours and other cultural events. The Night Spectacular - A night show presenting the history of Jerusalem, with images projected onto the walls, bridges and hidden pathways of the ancient citadel. Sat 21.00, 22.00; Mon 20.30, 21.30; Thur 21.00, 22.00. Museum hours: Fri 09.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00. www.towerofdavid.org.il

Bloomfield Science Museum

The museum contains exhibits and workshops dealing with light and shadow, construction, levers, illusions, fire, electricity and more. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat and holidays 10.00-16.00; Mon-Thur 10.00-18.00. www.mada.org.il

Yad Vashem

Established as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust and home to the Holocaust History Museum. It offers visitors a guided tour in English (see Tours) and presents a variety of important Survivors’ testimonies, personal diaries, artifacts and more. Special exhibit: Children in the Holocaust: Stars Without a Heaven The exhibit gives expression to the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and displays their stories. Mount of Remembrance, Har Hazikaron St., off Herzl St. (02) 644-3802. Museum hours: Fri 09.00-14.00; Sun-Wed 09.00-17.00; Thur 09.00-20.00 

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens 

Israel’s biggest plant collection, organized geographically, with over 6,000 plants throughout the grounds. Fri 09.00-15.00; Sat, Sun-Thur, 09.00-17.00. 1 Zalman Shneor St. (via Nayot Petrol Station). Shabbat entry from 1 Burla St. Details: (02) 679-4012, www.en.botanic.co.il

Mini Israel

Over 350 miniature replicas of historical, religious, archaeological and modern sites and buildings from around the country. Guided tours by appointment. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 10.00-17.00. Location at Latrun 1-700-559-559, www.minisrael.co.il

Monkey Park

Guided tours, workshops, feedings, rides, wall climbing and other activities. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat-Thur 10.00-15.00. Ben Shemen Forest (near Kfar Daniel) (08) 928-5888, park.monkeypark.co.il

HAIFA AND THE NORTH 

Sea of Western Galilee Festival 

Running over six weekends (May 12-June 18), the event offers various activities for the entire family. This week: Navigation Game Families and individuals are invited to participate in an educational and fun 4-hour navigation tour around the Western Galilee, by foot, bike or car. Ages 3+. Fri, Sat at 10.00. Registration: 050-763-0644; Meital Trabelsi Performs songs by the poet Rachel, Fri at 21.00. Keshet Eilon, Kibbutz Eilon. Details: (04) 985-8191/31; Achziv Triathlon Swimming, running and bicycle riding. Sat at 06.30. Begins at Achziv Coast near Club Med. Details:  triathlon.org.il; Achziv Swimming Competition 750m., 1,500m., 3,000m. and 5,000m. course. Sat at 08.10. Begins at Achziv Coast near Acre. Details: openwaterisrael.co.il; Shalom Hanoch The rock singer in a show with Moshe Levy. Thur at 21.30. Visitors’ Center, Rosh Hanikra; Festival details: bgalil.co.il

Israel Railway Museum

The national railway museum of Israel features the country’s railway history, antique train cars and other railway items. Sun-Thur 08.00-16.00. 1 Hativat Golani St., Haifa. Details: www.rail.co.il

Indi Park 

The theme park includes kayaking, surfing, canoeing, wall climbing, nature art workshops and more. Open all week from 09.00-17.00. Located in Yesud Hama’ala in the Hula Valley. Details: www.indipark.co.il

A Crusader Experience 

Home to the Hospitaller Fortress (Knights’ Hall), the Old City of Acre presents a series of medieval-themed activities based at the hall that includes candlelight dinners, costumed entertainers and actors (from Akko Theater), singing, dancing and a tournament of knights jousting on horseback. Special host, played by an actor, King Richard the Lionheart, who headed the Christian armies and re-conquered Acre during the Crusades, will attend each dinner and entertain guests. Tues, Thur at 19.00. 1 Weizmann St., Acre. Tickets: (04) 995-6708

Hamat Gader

Enjoy a giant tent compound, pedal boats, a parrot show, crocodile feedings, local hot springs, and more. Fri, Thur 08.30-22.00; Sat 08.30-19.00; Sun-Wed 08.30-17.00; Hamat Gader, off Route 98 and south of Lake Kinneret. Details: *6393

Gan Guru

The park is home to wildlife including kangaroos and koalas, with Aboriginal face-painting and guided koala and bat feedings. Fri 09.00-15.00, Sat 09.00-17.00, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00. Australia Park, Kibbutz Nir David (04) 648-806, www.nirtours.co.il 

THE SOUTH

The 5th Sufi Festival

A three-day weekend in the Arava Desert, in the spirit of Sufi mysticism (May 12-14). The event includes musical and dance performances (see Entertainment), poetry, talks and studies, workshops and more. For the entire family. Camping site available. Ashram in the Arava Desert, near Shitim, off Route 40, north of Eilat. 052-772-0200

Lunada

A children’s museum offering an interactive experience, with original games that activate the senses. Sat 09.30-18.30, Sun-Thur 09.00-13.00, 16.00-19.00. Lunada, 25 Hareuveni St., Be’er Sheva

Bird Watching Park

Learn about the life and migrating patterns of many different bird species, observe them as they land in the nearby lake and trees, and understand Israel’s vital role in many migrating birds’ flight plans and survival. Open daily, at all hours. Off the Arava Rd., from on Route 90 and then east on Route 109. Details: 050-767-1290, http://eilatbirds.com

Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Eilat

The park sits on the coral reef of the Red Sea, providing an up-close introduction to the fauna of the Gulf of Eilat, including over 800 species of fish, corals, mollusks, turtles, rays and more. The park’s shark pool is home to 18 shark species, and offers an underwater observation tunnel, activities and displays. Additional attractions include the open-sea underwater observatory, aquariums, the Amazon Cabin (featuring fauna from the Amazon River), animal feedings, glass-bottomed boat cruises, 3D educational films and more. Daily, 08.30-16.00. Coral (Almog) Beach, Eilat (08) 636-4200, www.coralworld.co.il/en